The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they happened.
Turkey: Police station attack leaves many wounded
Turkey’s state-run media reports say several ambulances have been dispatched following an explosion near the mainly-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey.
Initial reports say there are “many” hurt in the attack.
The Anadolu Agency says the explosion Monday was caused by a Kurdish rebel attack on a traffic police station near Diyarbakir.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) August 15, 2016
Last week, a wave of attacks targeting Turkish police and soldiers in the mainly-Kurdish southeast region, including Diyarbakir, killed at least 12 people. Authorities blamed the attacks on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
— AP and Times of Israel staff
Third French town issues burqini ban after Corsica clashes
A mayor on the French island of Corsica on Monday becomes the third nationwide to announce a ban on burqinis, after the full-body Islamic swimsuit allegedly sparked violent clashes.
The Riviera resorts of Cannes and Villeneuve-Loubet banned the garment from their beaches in recent weeks, at a highly sensitive time for relations with France’s Muslim community following a series of jihadist attacks.
The new ban in the Corsican village of Sisco comes after a massive brawl on Saturday between locals and families of North African origin.
It is not entirely clear how the fight broke out, but one witness says it happened after tourists took pictures of women swimming in burqinis on the Mediterranean island.
Five people are injured and three cars are burned as the rival sides hurl stones and bottles. A hundred police officers are mobilized to break up the fight.
Thailand’s deep south hit by fresh blasts
Fresh explosions rock Thailand’s deep south seriously wounding one soldier on Monday, days after a spate of bomb and arson attacks struck multiple tourist resort towns.
Last week’s attacks have heightened concerns Thailand’s long-running but local southern Islamist insurgency may have spread after years of stalled peace talks — a suggestion the kingdom’s junta has been keen to deny.
A string of overnight attacks highlight how the insurgency continues to rage in the three Muslim majority provinces bordering Malaysia.
“One soldier was seriously injured from a bomb buried under the road” on Monday morning, Police Captain Wiroge Boonkae, from Bacho police station in southern Narathiwat province, tells AFP.
Police say a further three blasts struck neighbouring Yala province, though no injuries are reported.
Under heavy security, Catholic pilgrims visit Lourdes shrine
Catholic pilgrims from around the world, many sick or disabled, converge Monday at a shrine in the French town of Lourdes under exceptional security after recent extremist attacks.
Armed soldiers and police patrol the train station, town center and inside the sanctuary at Lourdes, where a 19th-century village girl said she had visions of the Virgin Mary. The site in southern France near the Spanish border draws pilgrims of all kinds, some hoping for a cure from the famous spring water in the Lourdes grotto.
As a helicopter circles overhead, visitors bearing candles and banners stream toward the grotto and the sprawling plaza of the basilica, apparently undeterred by new security restrictions or the recent attacks.
French authorities had already been planning extra security for the annual holiday, but concerns mounted after a series of attacks in July around Europe — notably one July 26 in northwest France, in which two extremists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group stormed a morning Mass, slit an elderly priest’s throat and took nuns and parishioners hostage.
Lourdes officials refused to cancel this year’s pilgrimage, although some other summer festivals around France have been dropped.
Syrian army repels rebel advances southwest of Aleppo city
Syrian government forces on Monday repel a renewed rebel assault southwest of the city of Aleppo, forcing opposition forces to retreat from positions they seized a daily earlier, the Syrian government and activists say.
The development follows intense battles between the two sides.
The attempt to seize new ground around the northern city is spearheaded by a coalition of rebel and militant groups, including Syria’s rebranded al-Qaeda branch, which now goes under the name of Fath al-Sham.
Fighting in Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, has intensified in recent weeks. The city near the Turkish border has been split between a rebel-held eastern part and a government-held western part since 2012. It has become the focal point of the war, encapsulating the bloody stalemate of Syria’s conflict, now in its sixth year.
Bomb in eastern Lebanon near Syria border wounds 2 soldiers
Lebanese state media say that a roadside bomb near the country’s eastern border with Syria has wounded two Lebanese soldiers.
The National News Agency says the explosion struck an army vehicle in the Arsal region and that the wounds sustained by the troops were minor. The blast was followed by the soldiers opening fire with heavy weapons at militant positions nearby.
Violence from neighboring Syria’s civil war has spilled across the border into Lebanon in the past. Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants briefly seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal in 2014, before Lebanese security forces pushed them back to the frontier.
NYT: Trump isn’t campaigning among African Americans
The New York Times reports that Republican candidate Donald Trump, who is losing handily among minority voters, including Jews, blacks and Hispanics, has not held a single campaign event aimed at black voters since declaring his candidacy for president.
In attempting to fashion a populist message, Mr. Trump has criticized Democrats for doing little to address urban joblessness and despair. But in the more than a year since he began his White House bid, the Republican nominee has not held a single event aimed at black voters in their communities, shunning the traditional stops at African-American churches, historically black colleges and barber shops and salons that have long been staples of the presidential campaign trail.
Mr. Trump may not have purposefully snubbed black neighborhoods — he rarely plunges into any community to tour businesses, sample local cuisine or spontaneously engage in the handshake and back-patting rituals of everyday campaigning. His preferred style of politicking consists almost entirely of addressing arena-size rallies, conducting media interviews and receiving visitors in private at events or at his Manhattan skyscraper.
But the 70-year-old white self-described billionaire has not just walled himself off from African-American voters where they live. He has also turned down repeated invitations to address gatherings of black leaders, ignored African-American conservatives in states he needs to win and made numerous inflammatory comments about minorities.
Saudi Arabia intercepts Africans migrants in Red Sea
Saudi Arabia stops a boat carrying 31 illegal migrants, most of them Sudanese, from trying to reach the kingdom, the Border Guards force says on Monday.
The guards report repeated interceptions of migrants in the Red Sea over the past two months.
In the latest case a patrol “foiled an attempt by a group of 31 people from different nationalities to enter Saudi waters on a wooden boat,” Border Guards spokesman Colonel Sahir al-Harbi says.
He says the group comprised 20 Sudanese, six Nigerians and five Ethiopians.
At least 339 illegal immigrants have been intercepted by Saudi border guards off the coast since the first half of June, according to figures cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The vast majority have been Sudanese, whose impoverished homeland lies less than 300 kilometers (186 miles) from oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
Trump looking to institute political tests for immigrants
Trump on Monday is expected to outline a new immigration policy proposal under which the US would stop issuing visas in any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings.
It will be the latest version of a policy that began with Trump’s unprecedented call to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the country — a religious test that was criticized across party lines as un-American. Following a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June, Trump introduced a new standard.
“As he laid out in his Orlando remarks, Mr. Trump will describe the need to temporarily suspend visa issuances to geographic regions with a history of exporting terrorism and where adequate checks and background vetting cannot occur,” Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller says of a speech Trump is expected to deliver Monday in Ohio.
Trump is also expected to propose creating a new, ideological test for admission to the country that would assess a candidate’s stances on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. Through questionnaires, searching social media, interviewing friends and family or other means, applicants would be vetted to see whether they support American values like tolerance and pluralism.
Ashkelon mayor’s attorney welcomes dropping of sexual assault allegations
Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni is likely to be indicted for bribery, fraud and money laundering, among other charges, as prosecutors conclude several months of investigations into alleged financial and personal improprieties.
The indictment also names his brother.
Shimoni is also expected to be charged with carrying on two illicit relationships with subordinates working in the municipality. He was initially investigated for alleged sexual assault related to the relationship, but these charges were dropped from the expected indictments.
Asher Ohayon, Shimoni’s attorney, says “Itamar is happy he succeeded in convincing the state prosecution, even at this early stage, that there was nothing wrong in his behavior in anything having to do with the alleged sexual crimes.
“But his happiness is incomplete,” Ohayon adds. “We hope to make it complete in the [preliminary] hearing process, where, with God’s help, we will succeed in convincing the prosecution about the other allegations. If we fail, we believe we will succeed in convincing the court [of his innocence].”
Trump to declare end to nation building in foreign policy speech
Donald Trump will declare an end to nation building if elected president, replacing it with what aides described as “foreign policy realism” focused on destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations.
In a speech the Republican presidential nominee will deliver on Monday in Ohio, Trump will argue that the country needs to work with anyone that shares that mission, regardless of other ideological and strategic disagreements. Any country that wants to work with the US to defeat “radical Islamic terrorism” will be a US ally, he is expected to say.
“Mr. Trump’s speech will explain that while we can’t choose our friends, we must always recognize our enemies,” Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller says Sunday.
President Rivlin congratulates India on 69th independence day
President Reuven Rivlin tweets a Happy Independence Day wish to India’s President Rashtrapati Bhavan.
India’s independence from Britain on August 15, 1947, paved the way for the British withdrawal from the Middle East — and Israel’s independence the following year, on May 14, 1948.
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) August 15, 2016
Clinton looks to attract undocumented immigrants
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is launching a new effort to tap into the political power of young, undocumented immigrants.
She’s hoping to capitalize on Donald Trump’s promises to deport them.
Clinton’s national voter registration program is being launched on the four-year anniversary of US President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order that temporarily shielded some young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
Organizers will remind voters that a Trump presidency would end that program, according to the campaign. It’s already at risk after a deadlocked Supreme Court decision in June.
The 730,000 young people known as DREAMERs are prohibited from voting but they’ve helped mobilize many Latinos who can. The program is part of an effort by Clinton to woo the record 27.3 million Latinos eligible to vote in 2016.
Reward offered in NYC imam slaying as families seek answers
As the families of a slain New York City mosque leader and his associate make funeral arrangements and continue their quest for answers in the shooting, a Muslim advocacy group plans to announce a reward for information leading to an arrest.
Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were both shot in the head near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens as they left afternoon prayers on Saturday in their traditional religious attire, according to police.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, plans to announce on Monday a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Police say they have not yet determined a motive for the killings, but some in the Bangladeshi Muslim community served by the mosque worry it could be a hate crime.
On Monday, Muslim community members will gather in Brooklyn to hold Islamic funeral prayers for the two men.
France’s Hollande to meet pope after priest killing
French President Francois Hollande will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, his office says Monday, with the two expected to discuss the fallout from the jihadist murder of a French priest.
Hollande’s visit to Rome on Wednesday will be his second as French president. In January 2014, he also met the leader of the world’s Catholics.
Sources in Hollande’s office tell AFP the meeting was organized “following the events in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray,” the northern town where 85-year-old priest Jacques Hamel was killed July 26 by two teens claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group.
The attack was the first committed in the name of IS against a church in the West.
Biden to join Clinton campaign, calling Trump unprepared for office
Vice President Joe Biden will declare Donald Trump the most uninformed presidential nominee in history when he campaigns with Hillary Clinton on Monday.
That’s when Biden is set to hold his first campaign rally for Clinton. They’ll be in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Biden’s office says he’ll argue that Trump is less prepared on national security than any previous nominee. He’ll also say that Trump’s erratic rhetoric and “bluster” will make Pennsylvanians and all Americans less safe.
Biden’s office says he’ll praise Clinton as offering solutions for the middle class on jobs and education. He’ll also cast Clinton as key to building on the Obama administration’s legacy.
Jordan writer held over cartoon deemed offensive to Islam
A prosecutor slaps a gag order on the case of a Jordanian writer who is arrested after posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam.
Nahed Hattar was arrested Saturday after sharing the cartoon on social media. The drawing of unclear origin depicts God in paradise being treated as a servant by an Arab man who lounges in bed with two women and asks for wine.
Journalist Saed Hattar, a relative, says Monday his cousin posted the cartoon to illustrate what he views as the twisted religious views of Islamic State extremists. Saed Hattar says his cousin deleted the post after many angry responses.
Jordan is an overwhelmingly Muslim and deeply conservative country.
The Amman prosecutor’s office bans further reporting in a statement published Monday, citing public safety concerns.
Russia conducts naval exercises in Mediterranean near Syria
Russia’s military says it has started exercises in the eastern Mediterranean near Syria to test the navy’s ability to respond to “crisis situations of a terrorist nature.”
The Defense Ministry statement says that in the exercises that are beginning Monday, a naval strike force will fire artillery and missiles in combat-like conditions.
The ministry says among the vessels taking part are two Buyan-M corvettes equipped with long-range cruise missiles of the type used to strike the Islamic State group in Syria last year.
Since intervening in Syria’s civil war in September, Russia has kept warships off Syria’s coast, reviving a Soviet-era practice when Soviet warships maintained a permanent vigil in the Mediterranean. Russia’s naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus is now the only such facility outside the ex-Soviet Union.
Palestinian held for trying to forge Israeli ID card
A 19-year-old Palestinian man is held in Netanya after allegedly attempting to forge an Israeli citizen’s ID card.
The man enters the Interior Ministry office in the city on Monday, produces a damaged blue ID card and asked to replace it with a repaired and updated one.
Clerks in the office notice the mismatch between the man’s face and the photo on the ID and alert police, who arrive on the scene and arrest the Palestinian for attempted identity fraud and falsifying official documents.
9 Palestinians illegally in Israel caught in Ra’anana
Nine Palestinians are caught on Monday residing illegally in Ra’anana, police say. One of them was once held by Israel on terrorism charges and was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap.
Thousands of Palestinians sneak into Israel daily to work. The phenomenon has attracted attention in recent months, especially after two Palestinian terrorists used the smuggling routes across the Green Line to enter Israel and carry out the deadly Sarona Market shooting attack in Tel Aviv on June 8.
The Knesset State Control Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday, summoning IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to testify, as well as Deputy Police Commissioner Zohar Dvir and other officials, according to a statement from committee chairwoman MK Karine Elharar (Yesh Atid).
Jordanian minister slams Jews’ ‘vicious storming’ of Temple Mount, warns of ‘religious war’
Jordan’s Minister of Waqf and Islamic Affairs Wael Arabiyat slams as “vicious” the visit to the Temple Mount Sunday of some 200 Jews commemorating the fast day of Tisha B’Av.
Speaking Monday shortly after Jordan’s King Abdullah II accused Israel of violating the status quo at unspecified Jerusalem holy sites, Arabiyat says 400 Israeli “settlers” who visited the site created “a blatant challenge to the feelings of Muslims and a clear violation of international law and norms.”
In a report by the official Jordanian news agency Petra, the minister is said to have charged the Jews with, as Petra reports, “assaulting and arresting the [Muslim] worshipers and the Talmudic rituals the settlers performed in the mosque.”
Jews who visit the site, which is holy to both Judaism and Islam, are forbidden to pray during their visits and are not permitted into the silver-domed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the compound.
The report calls the visits “Israeli assaults against the Al Aqsa Mosque,” and claims the Jews who visited the site were “ultra-Orthodox.” The vast majority of ultra-Orthodox rabbinic authorities forbid their adherents from visiting the holy site for reason of ritual purity.
During the Jewish “assault,” “the steadfast brethren of the Al Aqsa mosque, youth and worshipers…stood up against the vicious raids,” the report states.
Petra concludes: “The minister also warned that the continuation of such violations will trigger a religious war which His Majesty King Abdullah II had repeatedly warned against.”
Police arrest 32 Palestinian laborers in Israel illegally
Police arrest 32 Palestinian laborers in Israel illegally on Monday, all at a single construction site.
According to the Walla news site, 24 are transported back over the Green Line, while eight others who have previous records of attempting to work illegally in Israel are held for questioning.
Police are considering closing the construction site in Harish, near Hadera, and its two owners, residents of the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, are taken into custody.
Baton Rouge Jews raise funds for flood victims
Baton Rouge’s Chabad House launches an emergency fundraising campaign for thousands of people affected by the massive floods that swept across Louisiana.
At least five people have perished and more than 20,000 people have been rescued in Louisiana amid floods that began Friday due to heavy rainfall. The deluge brought 6 to 10 inches of rainfall to the southeastern parts of the state. Several more inches of rain fell Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, which warned that floods may spread to Texas.
“People have lost their homes, cars, are out of work, and need food, clothing and shelter,” reads the fundraising appeal posted Monday by the Baton Rouge Beit Chabad, which opened last year, on its website. “Some members of the Jewish community of Baton Rouge also “have seen major devastation,” says the appeal for the fundraising drive, which has a $25,000 goal. “It is our job to reach out and help in any way we can.”
Rio pays tribute to 11 Israelis murdered in ’72 Munich Olympics
Under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, Brazilian senior officials join sports activists from Israel and elsewhere at a commemoration of the 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
The Israeli and Brazilian Olympic committees and members of the local Jewish community attend the event Sunday evening at Rio City Hall.
“What happened in 1972 was one of the most lamentable episodes in the history of the Olympic Games, when fanaticism and intolerance [converged in a] deplorable act of terrorism,” Brazil’s foreign minister, Jose Serra, said on behalf of President Michel Temer. “I believe the IOC, in all these years, hadn’t held the homage it deserved.”
Israel’s most senior representative to the games, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, says terrorism “does not differentiate [between] people” and reaches everyone.
“When we fight against terror, we look for peace. We still see discrimination against the Israeli athletes,” she says. “There are countries that deny visas to competitors. We know that mixing sports and politics is against the IOC protocol and contrary to the Olympic spirit. Sport must bring people together.”
Unlike previous Olympic commemorations dealing with the 1972 massacre, Sunday’s event is entirely devoted to the murdered Israelis. A previous homage was held August 4 at a memorial site in the Olympic Village, where not only the Israelis were honored but also four others who were killed during Olympic Games.
9 Iraqi men arrested in New Year’s Day rape in Austria
Austrian police say they’ve arrested nine Iraqi men on suspicion of rape for an attack on a German tourist in Vienna on New Year’s Day.
Vienna police spokesman Paul Eidenberger tells The Associated Press on Monday that the men range in age from 21 to 47 and are all either asylum seekers or recently were granted asylum.
They are alleged to have taken the woman from Vienna’s downtown Schwedenplatz and then assaulted her in an apartment where two of the suspects lived.
Police say the men have denied the accusations. Eidenberger says the woman, who had been drinking and suspects she was drugged, has no recollection of being taken to the apartment. Police say they used DNA evidence and video surveillance to build their case.
Israel to hand over Palestinian terrorists’ bodies – report
A Palestinian Authority agency dealing with prisoners in Israeli prisons says Israel has agreed to hand over to their families for burial the bodies of an unspecified number of Palestinian terrorists killed during their attacks on Israelis.
The first body will be handed over on Wednesday, a statement says. It is reportedly that of Muhammad Jamal al-Kalouti, 21, from Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem, who shot at a Jerusalem light rail car on March 9 near the Old City’s New Gate, seriously wounding one Israeli.
Israel has refused to hand over bodies when it suspects the burial will be an occasion for mass demonstrations in support of further terror attacks. It conditions the handovers on families agreeing to hold quiet, nighttime funerals.
— Dov Lieber
US tanks join Polish army parade as military ties deepen
American tanks and soldiers take part in a yearly military parade in Warsaw, a symbolic show of increased US military involvement in a region shaken by a more assertive Russia.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the US Army commander in Europe, says the US participation in Poland’s armed forces national holiday Monday underlines the increased presence that the US plans in Poland and elsewhere in the region.
He says: “Poland got a look of what they are going to see a lot of in the future — a US army presence that is substantial and is going to be ongoing.”
The August 15 holiday marks Poland’s victory over Russian Bolsheviks in 1920 near Warsaw.
Trump’s Israel campaign launches in Modiin
Donald Trump’s campaign is launching an effort to persuade expat US citizens living in Israel to vote for the Republican candidate in the November elections.
Despite a children’s concert taking place in the same space — previously unknown to the campaign — the first official event is taking place outside the mall in the central town of Modiin, with a stall signing people up to register to vote. Similar events are planned in other towns and cities with high numbers of English speakers.
Tzvika Brot, manager of the Israel campaign, says they signed up 300 people today in Modiin and Jerusalem.
“There are 350,000 US voters in Israel, with many from the swing states. Most of them lean to the right and to the Republican party,” Brot says, explaining the importance of the campaign.
“We are saying to them that if you want a pro-Israel president, now is the time to do your reserve duty to the US. If people want to make a difference then they need to register to vote today.”
— Raoul Wootliff
Fyvush Finkel, veteran actor with Yiddish theater roots, dies at 93
Fyvush Finkel, an Emmy Award-winning actor who began his career performing in the Yiddish theater, dies at 93.
Finkel, who played in the 1990s CBS drama series “Picket Fences” and Fox’s “Boston Public,” dies Sunday in his Manhattan home of heart failure, The New York Times reports.
Finkel spent most of his early career on the Lower East Side of New York City performing in the Yiddish theater and was popular in his niche stage community when he broke into the mainstream in 1964 with the national production of “Fiddler on the Roof” playing Mordcha the innkeeper.
On the big screen, Finkel had a breakout performance in the 1990 Sidney Lumet pic “Q&A” as a corrupt attorney. He also appeared in “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “For Love or Money” and “Nixon.”
In 2009, Finkel appeared in the opening scene of Academy Award best picture nominee “A Serious Man” playing a Treitle Groshkover, known as a “dybbuk” in Jewish lore — the wandering soul of a dead person that enters the body of a living person and controls his or her behavior.
On television, Finkel played public defender Douglas Wambaugh in “Picket Fences,” for which he was twice Emmy nominated, winning in 1994. He soon became a favorite of “Fences” creator David Kelley, who also cast him in “Boston Public” as an eccentric high school teacher.
Netanyahu’s health ‘excellent,’ according to annual checkup
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets a clean bill of health in his annual checkup.
In the annual medical report for the prime minister, released by Netanyahu’s office today, his personal doctor, Dr. Tzvi Berkovich, reports the premier’s health is “excellent,” and that Netanyahu maintains a “healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits.”
The report includes the results of a series of medical tests, and notes that a polyp was removed earlier this year but was found to be benign.
Yitzhak Rabin’s son warns Trump: Same kind of ‘incitement’ led to murder of my father
The son of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says Donald Trump’s “ugly” campaign rhetoric is threatening American democracy and creating an atmosphere similar to the one in Israel leading up to his father’s assassination.
In a USA Today op-ed on Sunday, Yuval Rabin writes that the recent call by Trump to “Second Amendment people” is the same kind of “incitement” that “led to the murder” of his father in 1995.
“More than one commentator in Israel and the US has pointed to the parallels between Israel in the 1990s and the US today,” Rabin writes, citing articles in Haaretz and The New York Times.
He adds: “Trump has called Clinton, ‘the devil,’ claimed that the election might be ‘rigged,’ denigrated religions and questioned the impartiality of the justice system. Intentional or not, the Republican presidential nominee is removing confidence in the democratic form of governance. If an election is seen as illegitimate, if those who supported a candidate are viewed as somehow lesser ‘Americans,’ then it becomes acceptable — and even appropriate — to work outside the political system.”
Trump’s comments last week — suggesting that gun-rights supporters could take action against Hillary Clinton if she “wants to abolish” the Second Amendment, or the right to bear arms — also prompted Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy to make the Rabin assassination comparison.
US Green Party VP nominee disavows Holocaust denier
The vice presidential candidate for the Green Party, Ajamu Baraka, disavows Holocaust denial after contributing an article to a writer whom Baraka says he did not know was a Holocaust denier.
“There has never been any question in [my] mind about the genocidal madness of the Nazi Holocaust throughout Europe during the second world war,” Ajamu Baraka tells Gawker on Aug. 12. “I abhor and reject any individual or group that fails to understand the tremendous suffering of Jewish people during that dark period.”
Baraka agreed to allow Kevin Barrett, who has said the “Holocaust controversy was a legitimate topic of historical debate,” to include his essay in a book Barrett compiled this year on theories of “false flags,” attacks organized by hidden conspirators to create pretexts for counterattacks.
The book includes essays by anti-Semites and 9-11 “truthers,” who propagate discredited theories that the US government and others are protecting the true perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Barrett’s essay did not allege a “false flag” attack, but suggested that last November’s mass shooting attack in Paris was blowback for Europeans who devalued non-European lives.
In his statement to Gawker, Baraka says he tends to freely allow others to publish his essays, and he was not aware of the theories propagated by some of the other writers included.
Stein has come under fire from the pro-Israel community for backing the boycott Israel movement, and for deleting social media posts that mourn the passing of Elie Wiesel, following complaints from critics of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s pro-Israel views.
Israel offers security help as Argentina absorbs Syrian refugees
Israeli parliamentarians offer to help with the absorption of 3,000 Syrian refugees in Argentina, stressing the fight against terrorism and the need to address the country’s security needs and those of its Jewish community.
“We understand the Argentinean desire to help with the global humanitarian crisis, but it is very important that terrorists don’t use this as a way to enter Argentina,” Israeli lawmaker Haim Jellin, an Argentina native, tells journalists.
Jellin is part of a mission of five Israeli lawmakers who on Friday signed an agreement of cooperation with Argentine Vice President Gabriel Michetti and Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra. The focus of the agreement is cooperation against terrorism.
Michetti tweeted Friday to his 765,000 followers a photo of himself with the Israeli lawmakers announcing that they will “strengthen commercial ties” with Israel.
Israel’s recently appointed ambassador to Argentina, Ilan Sztulman, says Israel “helps people who escape from the humanitarian crisis in Syria, we treat them in our hospitals, we share the attitude of helping them. But it is important that Argentina do this very carefully. Especially because Iranians and Hezbollah are already in Argentina and in the region,” Sztulman says in his first meeting with Argentinean journalists.
Russia says it’s edging closer to deal with US on Aleppo
Russia’s defense minister says Moscow and Washington are edging closer to an agreement that would help defuse the situation in the besieged Syrian city Aleppo.
Sergei Shoigu says in remarks carried Monday by Rossiya 24 television that “step by step, we are nearing an arrangement, I’m talking exclusively about Aleppo, that would allow us to find common ground and start fighting together for bringing peace to that territory, that long-suffering land, so that people could return to their homes.”
Aleppo was once Syria’s commercial capital. Fighting for the city has become the focal point of the nation’s civil war, now in its sixth year.
Russia and the US are discussing closer coordination in Syria, but they have been unable to reach an agreement on which militant groups could be targeted.
Dozens injured as fireworks prompt panic on French Riviera
Authorities say fireworks in a French Riviera resort town appear to have prompted a panic that led to dozens of injuries as people scrambled to flee.
Residents are on edge around the country after a string of deadly terror attacks, including the Bastille Day truck rampage in Nice last month that killed 85 people after a fireworks show.
About 20 kilometers (12 miles) down the coast from Nice, loud sounds that apparently came from small-scale fireworks sent restaurant-goers fleeing in alarm Sunday.
The local administration reports Monday that about 40 people have been injured in the melee.
Nice-Matin newspaper quotes witnesses who describe confusion and fears of a new attack.
France has been under a state of emergency since Islamic extremist attacks in November killed 130 people.
Mark Sanford latest prominent Republican to distance from Trump
Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, who served as governor of South Carolina, suggests he could abandon his support for Donald Trump if the GOP presidential nominee fails to release his tax returns.
In an op-ed in Monday’s New York Times, Sanford describes himself as a conservative who has little patience for Trump’s personal style and “penchant for regularly demeaning others.” However, Sanford is backing the nominee because of the Supreme Court vacancy and the possibility that the next president could fill several openings.
Whether Sanford remains in the Trump camp is contingent on the nominee’s release of his tax records, he says.
Sanford writes that there is a precedent for such transparency. The congressman also points out that Trump had criticized 2012 nominee Mitt Romney for moving slowly in releasing his tax returns.
Biden: Trump ‘has no clue’ about foreign policy, weakens US alliances
Joe Biden is attacking Donald Trump, saying the Republican nominee “has no clue” about foreign policy or the lives of working class Americans, and that he has “un-American” policy ideas.
Biden says: “He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break. It’s such a bunch of malarkey.”
The vice president, who is campaigning for Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, says Trump is “unqualified” to be president, arguing he lacks any kind of foreign policy experience or interest to learn about international challenges.
If Trump had been president, Biden says he would have urged his late son, Beau, not to serve in the military because Trump would not be a trustworthy leader.
Biden says he’s heading this week to Kosovo to reassure NATO countries that America stands by its alliances — a commitment he says Trump has weakened.
Trump says Clinton lacks ‘mental, physical stamina to beat IS’
Donald Trump is delivering a foreign policy address and, once again, blaming President Barack Obama for the rise of the Islamic State group.
Trump, speaking Monday in Youngstown, Ohio, suggests Obama did not display “moral courage” during what the celebrity businessman dubbed the president’s international “apology tour,” which included a 2009 stop in Cairo.
Trump did not call Obama “the founder of ISIS,” a remark that drew criticism last week. But the Republican nominee says Monday that Obama’s policies “led directly to the rise of ISIS, without question.”
The Republican nominee’s foreign policy address comes during a rocky stretch for his campaign. He’s struggled to stay on message and has consistently overshadowed his policy rollouts, including an economic speech last week.
Trump says that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, lacks “the mental and physical stamina” to take on the Islamic State group and the “many adversaries we face.”
Trump says that maybe it would have been better if, instead of traveling the globe, Clinton had stayed home.
Trump frequently criticizes Clinton’s stamina, suggested she isn’t strong enough to be president.
Clinton is the first woman to win the nomination of a major political party.
‘I’ll halt’ spread of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ — Trump
Trump says a key component of his foreign policy would be “halting” the spread of “radical Islamic terrorism” by limiting their access to the Internet.
The Republican presidential nominee isn’t saying how he would accomplish that goal in a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio.
But he says “We cannot allow the Internet to be used as a recruiting tool.”
He adds that “any country that shares this goal will be our allies.”
Trump pledges ‘extreme vetting’ of immigrants
Trump on Monday unveils his anti-terrorism plan, saying he would implement “extreme vetting” of immigrants as one way to protect the United States and suspend immigration from certain countries.
“We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” Trump says in a speech.
“In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting.”
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